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An Urban Outdoor Shower (Privacy Included)


An Urban Outdoor Shower (Privacy Included)

May 17, 2012

When you build a backyard shower next door to a 25-story apartment building in downtown Toronto, questions are going to arise. Like, how can it possibly feel private?

Cue the huge maple trees. They ring this shower, providing a canopy of shade—and discretion. The shower’s stacked-slat walls—reclaimed hemlock, from a farmyard pen—allow air to circulate and create natural support for cantilevered ledges. Designer James Dale of Toronto-based Earth Inc., who says he has a propensity to “talk back but later apologize,” says: “It’s very urban, but there’s a park nearby, and we wanted to bring that feel into the backyard.” Here’s how to get the leafy look:

Above: Reclaimed hemlock slats, crisscrossed so they can dry quickly, create a framework for the enclosure. For a large selection of vintage wood slats, visit Natural Wood Restorations or Keystone Vintage Lumber. Image via Earth inc.

Above: The key is to use slats wide enough to provide solid support for cantilevered shelves. Image via Keystone Vintage Lumber.

Above: After laying a limestone floor, Dale used leftover “dinner plate” stones as shelving. “Basically, gravity will hold it in,” he said. To see a selection of landscape stones, visit Golden Isles Granite.

Above: An alternative to traditional pillar candles, Flameless Wax Candles run on batteries; a little water won’t snuff them out. They’re $12.50 to $34.50, depending on size, from Pottery Barn.

Above: The Rotera lantern holds a tea light and is 8 1/2 inches tall; it’s $3.99 from Ikea.

Above: Dale used vintage plumbing. “These were Victorian designed faucets and brass heads, where all the pieces had been refinished,” he said. For a similar look, the Cheviot Claw Foot Tub Shower kit also has a faucet, to rinse sand off your feet; it’s $529.99 to $753.99, depending on finish, at Vintage Tub. In a cold climate, disconnect the water lines each winter to thwart pipe-bursting freezes.

Above: Train English Ivy to climb around the shower fixture; a 4-inch pot is $4.99 from Plant Shed. A Pom Pom Spreading Obelisk is adjustable, to fit into a tiny corner; it’s $48 from Terrain.

Above: Pottery Barn Classic 820-Gram Weight Bath Towels are made of Turkish cotton; prices range from $2.99 to $24, depending on size.

Finally, get more ideas on how to integrate and design an outdoor shower with our Hardscaping 101: Outdoor Showers design guide.

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